BLADE RUNNER-esque SciFi Make-Up Could Still Come To Pass

The latest step towards a cyberpunk dystopia: make-up that screws with facial recognition systems.

Science fiction films set in the future sometimes like to portray edgy characters in really ridiculous get-ups, sort of hyper punk looks. Think Pris in Blade Runner, or just about every bad guy in a post-apocalypse movie. It's a way of showing the extreme changes in style and culture, and it always sort of seems silly.

Until now! We might be moving towards a future of extreme make-up fashion after all, and it could be coming because of an equally science fiction concept. 

CV Dazzle is a project dedicated to creating make-up and hair styles that can foil computer facial recognition. We live in an increasing global security state, where cameras watch our every move and where computers can now recognize us automatically. CV Dazzle looks to thwart face detection. From the CV Dazzle site:

The name is derived from a type of camouflage used during WWI, called Dazzle, which was used to break apart the gestalt-image of warships, making it hard to discern their directionality, size, and orientation. Likewise, the goal of CV Dazzle is to break apart the gestalt of a face, or object, and make it undetectable to computer vision algorithms, in particular face detection.


Because face detection is the first step in automated facial recognition, CV Dazzle can be used in any environment where automated face recognition systems are in use, such as Google's Picasa, Flickr, or Facebook.

[S]oftware was developed that combines interactive drawing and genetic algorithms to detect vulnerabilities in the face detection process. By understanding how face-detection algorithms work, an anti-face can be constructed and used as a guide for creating makeup and hair-styling that foils the face detection process. As a result, your face becomes undetectable to machines yet retains some level of legibility to humans.

According to the CV Dazzle site some of the most extreme looks didn't actually fool facial recognition algorhythms. The project uses London club fashion mixed with tribal looks to find the perfect computer camouflage. 

Click here to read more about CV Dazzle, a project that will continue to evolve as long as facial recognition programs evolve.